11/25/12: Leadership Reading to Start Your Week

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Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms, to start off your work week. I'm pointing you to articles about Don Corleone as a leadership model, wise leadership, innovation in the cloud, Nucor, the demise of Michael Porter's Monitor Group as well as surveys, studies, statistics, and lists.


From BCG Perspectives: Don Corleone and the Art of Management
"In 1972, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather opened in theaters. The movie was nominated for ten Oscars and won three, including best film. It is still considered a cinematic masterpiece. Though the movie and the Mario Puzo book it was based on are often labeled crime stories, their roots run much deeper. 'It’s a study of power,' Coppola once remarked. In fact, The Godfather is a treatise on the art of management."

From INSEAD: The Wise Leader
"Smart leaders steer their organisations to victory, but wise leaders are needed to keep them on top in a dynamic world."

Stories and Strategies from Real Life

From Forbes: A Cloud Economy Innovation: Apple's iPhone Gets Its Own Robot
"With production well under way, Motrr was suddenly ambushed. In late September Apple came out with the new iPhone 5–and turned the developer community upside down. The familiar 30-pin connector powering every iPhone was tossed in favor of a sleeker 19-pin version. Guyot had to rethink, retool–and refund a lot of orders.The Cloud Economy is great–but when you get hit by a bolt of lightning, all your plans can come tumbling back to Earth."

From Jena McGregor at the Washington Post: Nucor’s CEO is stepping aside, but its culture likely won’t
"Over the weekend, the Charlotte, N.C.-based steel company Nucor announced that Daniel DiMicco, its CEO since 2000, will be succeeded by the company’s president and COO, John Ferriola. DiMicco, who is credited with increasing sales fivefold at Nucor and overseeing a total shareholder return of 464 percent during his tenure, will remain as executive chairman. This run-of-the-mill (pardon the pun) news about a CEO succession would barely be worth a comment if it weren’t for Nucor’s innovative approach to managing and leading its employees. Under DiMicco, as well as Ken Iverson, who ran the company before him, Nucor’s management culture has been unique in U.S manufacturing. It takes the sort of employee practices to which many companies give lip service and embraces them fully."

For some more on Nucor, read a recent Industry Week interview with Dan DiMicco and part of the company's own site devoted to how Nucor is an innovation leader without and R & D department.

The Bankruptcy of Michael Porter's Monitor Group

From the Boston Globe: Monitor Group files for court’s protection
"Monitor Group, a Cambridge consulting firm founded by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter that rose to prominence in the 1980s, filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday as part of a deal to be acquired by Deloitte Consulting."

From the Economist: Monitor's end
"While it is true that Monitor, a consulting firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, once had a sparkling reputation, on November 7th, it declared it can no longer pay the bills and sought bankruptcy protection. Failing a higher bid at auction, Monitor will be bought by Deloitte, an enormous professional-services firm, for just $116m, a figure subject to future reductions as Monitor sorts out its finances."

From Steve Denning at Forbes: What Killed Michael Porter's Monitor Group? The One Force That Really Matters
"What killed the Monitor Group, the consulting firm co-founded by the legendary business guru, Michael Porter? In November 2012, Monitor was unable to pay its bills and was forced to file for bankruptcy protection. Why didn’t the highly paid consultants of Monitor use Porter’s famous five-force analysis to save themselves?"

Surveys and Studies and Statistics and Lists

From Fortune: 25 Best Global Companies to Work For

From the Guardian: Armed forces leaders are the best at managing change, study shows

From Tyler Cowen: My favorite non-fiction books of 2012

From John Sumser: More Than Five Links: Gamification

Studying individual leaders is a great way to learn about leadership. That's why my weekly post points you to posts by or about individual leaders. Last week I pointed you to posts by and about Jeff Bezos, Seth Besmertnik, Marillyn A. Hewson, Michelle V. Stacy, Mark Cohon, and Reggie Fils-Aime.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to check back on Wednesday when I select five excellent posts from the week's independent business blogs. Last week I highlighted posts on using praise, what collaborative leaders know, the Achilles' heel of every great leader, small management risks that pay off, and five leadership secrets to being a successful CEO.

"Return on Failure " was a popular post on my blog last week.

If you want to get a book done, improve your blog posts, or make your web copy more productive, please check out my blog about business writing. My coaching calendar for authors and blog writers currently has time open. Please contact me if you're interested.

If you're a boss, you should check out my Working Supervisor's Support Kit.

Wally's Working Supervisor's Support Kit is a collection of information and tools to help working supervisors do a better job. It's based on what Wally's learned in over twenty years of supervisory skills training. Click here to check it out.



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